PPC B2B Lead Generation: Best Practices and Case Studies in 2024

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is widely used for customer acquisition in both B2C and B2B economy sectors. While PPC advertising for consumer (retail) businesses is relatively common, B2B lead generation through PPC is more complex. However, customer journeys of B2B prospects might contain search engines at some stage, making pay-per-click advertising one of the most efficient lead generation approaches for B2B.

Platforms for PPC B2B Lead Generation

The first step in B2B lead generation using pay-per-click is defining ad platforms and allocating the budget between them. By default, the following PPC platforms are preferred:

  • Google Ads (including YouTube)
  • LinkedIn Ads

A bit rare is to see Microsoft Ads included in the list, However, according to my experience, the quality of traffic there is increasing, so I would recommend investing part of your marketing fund in this platform. Some of the more rare options can include:

  • Reddit Ads
  • Quora Ads
  • Twitter Ads

How to Allocate the Budget Between Platforms?

The budget allocation between the ad platforms depends on budget constraints and the lead generation model. Here are some principles that I try to follow:

  • If you need leads with higher buying intent, and the cost-per-lead is not an issue for your unit economy, consider Google Ads as a primary platform;
  • If you are more focused on lead nurturing, don’t expect leads to convert into opportunities immediately, and cost is a concern, focus on LinkedIn Ads;
  • Spend at least ten percent of your Google Ads budget on Microsoft Ads and compare the number of leads and the cost-per-lead;
  • Leave five percent of your budget on experiments in Twitter, Reddit, Quora, and other smaller platforms.

Examples of budget splits that worked for my clients’ goals:

  • 70% Google Ads, 15% Microsoft Ads, 10% LinkedIn, and 5% experiments – for a company focused on immediate lead conversion into opportunity, with no lead cost constraints;
  •  60% LinkedIn Ads, 30% Google Ads, 5% Microsoft Ads, and 5% experiments – for a company with a long sales cycle focused on lead nurturing, with a severe budget and lead cost constraints.

The B2B customer journey in 2024 is multichannel. Prospects touch with your campaign assets several times and during a specific timeframe before they convert. Therefore, maximize the number of platforms where your potential customers can interact with your ad, even with a smaller daily budget.

Creating & Managing an Effective PPC campaign for B2B

  1. Setting Objectives: The key to a successful campaign is choosing the relevant goals. Assuming the campaign is for the B2B sector, website traffic, and brand awareness will not be the primary goal. Instead, the B2B campaign should focus on maximizing the lead numbers across selected platforms while maintaining the high quality of leads and ensuring the cost-per-lead falls into the appropriate interval. This formula contains many variables, and, therefore, the goal setting needs to be realistic and can’t look like this: “We need 100,000 leads per month that are qualified and ready to buy tomorrow, while the cost-per-lead should not be higher than $3. Our budget is $10,000.” I am exaggerating to emphasize the importance of setting achievable KPIs.
  2. Keyword Research: Start by conducting thorough keyword research to identify search terms your potential B2B customers use. Always consider excluding keywords most focused on consumer search queries, and think of long-tail keywords with a strong B2B focus. Start initially with lower search volume keywords, establish the lead flow, and scale to keywords with higher search volume only afterwards. Pay attention to keywords your competitors are using and copy their successful strategies.
  3. Account structure: Separate your campaigns by language and location. While there is no specific recommendation to separate campaigns by products, I usually add product-based separation. It makes budgeting between products easier. Sometimes it is also useful to separate campaigns by device if your product works differently on various platforms. I don’t recommend separating campaigns based on keyword match type or demographics because it can be done on a group level.
  4. Targeting: Precision in targeting is crucial in B2B lead generation using PPC. Use targeting options like location (choose “Presence”, not “Presence or interest” option in Google Ads) and demographics (exclude younger audiences to target experienced decision makers). Upload customer lists to narrow your audience to those who have not already bought your product. If you are running display campaigns in Google Ads, exclude showing ads on sensitive content and live streaming, embedded videos, below-the-fold and parked domains. Consider topic exclusions, for instance, games, gardening, sports and other non-business related ones. For LinkedIn Ads, target job industries and titles, or job industries, functions and seniorities, or LinkedIn groups and job titles. In addition, apply geographic and age targeting.
  5. Keyword Match: If we talk about Google Ads or Microsoft Ads campaigns, we must select the most effective match type. Like the platform selection, this decision depends on your budget and lead generation model. By default, I start with the phrase match because it gives me more control over keywords that trigger impressions and bring leads with higher quality. Later on, Google can automatically propose a recommendation to A/B-test the broad match. If, at this stage, there is a budget for an experiment and the customer is satisfied with the results, I apply this recommendation and act based on the results of the A/B test. Sometimes the number of leads increases, and the cost-per-lead is reduced. In other cases, the quality of leads deteriorates simultaneously with the change, so I restore the campaign to the initial state.
  6. Bidding Strategy and Adjustments: I recommend starting new campaigns with no historical conversion data with “Maximize clicks” strategy with a cost-per-click limit (depends on your targeting, but usually is between $3-5 for me). After recording the first 15 conversions, I recommend switching to “Maximize conversions”, with or without the target cost-per-conversion (depending on your daily budget limits). Bid adjustments can help you improve the number of conversions or reduce the cost-per-lead in a specific location if you manage a multiregional campaign.
  7. Ad Copy: Craft compelling ad copy that speaks directly to your B2B audience’s pain points and needs. Ensure your ad copy attracts specifically B2B buyers because a lot of keywords can be used by both B2C and B2B audiences. Highlight the value and benefits of your campaign assets and include a solid and encouraging call to action in each headline and description.
  8. Landing Pages & Forms: Design landing pages with lead generation forms that are easy to complete and don’t require too much information upfront. The heading and the content of the landing page should align with your keywords to avoid attention disruption. Avoid adding too many lead qualification fields that reduce the number of conversions, and ask only essential contact and validation information. Learn more about this topic in my case study for MarketingSherpa. Lastly, always integrate the form with your CRM and marketing automation systems, and use lead enrichment tools for a more customized and effective communication.
  9. Ad Extensions: Use ad extensions to provide additional information, such as site links, callouts, and structured snippets. Structured snippets are advantageous for demonstrating your product’s “killer features” and callouts can bring more attention to specific promotions. If you have solution pages on the website, site links are the best placement. All this combined can enhance the visibility and CTR of your ads.
  10. Remarketing: Implement remarketing campaigns to re-engage visitors who have interacted with your website but have yet to convert into leads. In B2B multistaged sales cycles, where deals can close in weeks, months, or even years, it is essentialto engage with prospects several times during their buying journey to maintain their interest. Running two remarketing campaigns on Google Ads (regular display and demand gen types) is a minimum viable investment. In addition, if you don’t have budget constraints, you can add remarketing campaigns on LinkedIn, Microsoft Ads, Twitter, and other platforms to multiply the effect. Show custom-tailored ads based on previous behavior to encourage visitors to return and complete the desired action.
  11. Campaign Tracking & Management: Before starting your campaigns, ensure your conversion tracking (PDF downloads, trial or demo form submissions, chat window opens) works correctly. Assign the value for each conversion because, obviously, the sales quality of the lead differs for a whitepaper download and a demo request. Set a reasonable expected cost-per-lead and closely monitor it with other standards PPC KPIs like CTR or impression share. My weekly campaign management routine includes checking search the terms report and adding negative keywords based on it three times per week. I also adjust the budget allocation between campaigns and platforms based on the performance of individual campaigns, keywords, and geographies.

What Campaign Assets Maximize Results in PPC for B2B?

There are many types of lead generation assets applicable for B2B advertising: whitepapers, e-books, guides, templates, checklists, case studies and others. Ensure that such assets are promoted in your campaigns and do not focus purely on trial requests or contact form submissions. The 95:5 rule, initially presented in a 2021 report by the B2B Institute, posits that 95%, of business buyers are not in an active purchasing state at any given moment. Therefore, market to these 95% with an asset relevant to their stage in the customer journey.

Free Templates

In the case of Bacula Systems, I am advertising the document «Disaster Recovery Plan Template». The landing page is extremely simple — just a download form with several explanation sentences — https://www.baculasystems.com/download-your-disaster-recovery-plan-template/. This company targets system administrators and IT managers; these employees are usually responsible for creating and continuously improving enterprise disaster recovery plans. According to search volume statistics, DR plan templates and guides are searched frequently. This document is valuable for the target audience; it is regularly downloaded and used by Bacula Systems for lead generation. The search statistics demonstrate the topic’s popularity — the search demand is quite significant, allowing us to get 400+ leads monthly. These leads demonstrate an interest in the product because revising the disaster recovery plan usually goes together with assessing the backup software.

The cost-per-lead is between 25 and 45 USD, depending on the targeted locations, including those with high competition, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Western Europe.

Free Checklists

The following example is also connected with Bacula Systems, but the whitepaper is called «Ransomware Prevention & Response Checklist». The same simple landing page is used for this one – https://www.baculasystems.com/whitepapers/ransomware-checklist/. This free document is intended to provide insight into ransomware attack prevention, which is one of the essential topics for modern CIOs and CISOs.

As you can see, the number of searches is smaller than for disaster recovery plans but still good enough for a targeted lead generation campaign. The cost-per-lead is slightly bigger than the previous whitepaper, between 50 and 80 USD per lead; however, the engagement rate is higher for this type of asset.

Thought Leadership Whitepapers

The example listed above is a data protection and cybersecurity company Cipherpoint. Cipherpoint finds, classifies, and protects sensitive data in SharePoint and Microsoft 365. The company targets CISOs and data protection officers. Considering this information, I created a whitepaper called «Top-10 SharePoint security threats» because search statistics demonstrated high interest in this topic.

Using this thought leadership whitepaper, we achieved the 5,5% conversion rate and almost 100 qualified leads per month with a limited budget. As for the cost-per-lead, according to Statista, the average cost per lead from paid channels in the industry is 617 USD. Our cost per lead was almost ten times lower than the market average.

PPC Remarketing Best Practices for B2B

B2B lead generation is not straightforward, and the customer journey has many steps. Therefore, leveraging PPC remarketing campaigns is vital for the success of your regular pay-per-click B2B campaigns. Sometimes single campaigns perform not so well, but if you estimate their efficiency together with remarketing of visitors from this campaign, results can change significantly:

As you can see in this example, while the initial PPC campaign didn’t generate conversions, the number of conversions in the corresponding remarketing campaign is tremendous. Also, the conversion rate is 1,61%, which is way better than many other display network campaigns. Here are some best practices that I use for remarketing campaigns in B2B:

  • Exclude «Games» and other low-affinity topics in campaign settings;
  • Exclude mobile & tablet traffic from the campaign start, and add it as an experiment after your campaigns work for the desktop traffic;
  • Include at least three responsive ads with three different whitepaper landing pages;
  • The remarketing audience should be collected with the Google Analytics tag;
  • Demographic exclusion — exclude 18-24 years of age (depending on your product);
  • Geographical exclusion — exclude the countries that do not convert in your original search or social media campaigns;
  • Choose the location option «Presence: People in or regularly in your targeted locations»;
  • Set the bidding strategy to «Maximize conversions» (as the simplest) or any other custom bidding strategy you prefer only after you have generated at least 15 conversions overall (despite Google recommendations to turn it on instantly);
  • Don’t convert your campaign to Performance Max type;
  • Exclude showing ads on sensitive content, audiences with parental guidance, and teen and older audiences.


There are many ways to generate leads for B2B using pay-per-click advertising, but these best practices and case studies have provided the best conversion rates and cost-per-lead during my experience.

Leveraging PPC advertising for B2B lead generation can be a highly effective strategy when executed strategically. The specificity required for B2B campaigns, from precise audience targeting to tailored ad copy and customized assets, sets them apart from B2C campaigns. B2B professionals are often looking for solutions to complex challenges within their industries, and your PPC campaigns should address their pain points and showcase the unique value your products or services offer through thought leadership material.

Success in B2B PPC campaigns goes beyond click-through rates; it’s about generating high-quality leads that are more likely to convert into paying customers. To achieve this, relevant assets and continuous campaign optimization are essential. By focusing on the unique needs of the B2B audience, refining your messaging, and excluding irrelevant search terms, you can harness the power of PPC to drive meaningful lead generation and ultimately contribute to the growth and success of your B2B business.

Andrei Iunisov

Andrei Iunisov is an independent lead generation and SEO expert with 15 years of worldwide experience. Since 2006 Andrei has been involved in digital marketing for the rapidly growing software company Parallels in the USA. In 2009 he co-founded one of the first Google-certified web analytics agencies in CIS. His client list included many well-known technology companies in the region. In 2014 the business was sold to the hugest independent digital marketing group in Russia - iConText Group. Since 2016 Andrei has provided individual digital marketing services to various technology companies worldwide. His deep industry expertise allows to start generating leads immediately with a predicted cost-per-lead without time-consuming experiments and rapidly increases the SEO traffic with minimum budgets.

Award-winning digital marketing & SEO expert
Award-winning PPC & SMM expert of 2023
Certified Marketing Insider with a published case study
Google Ads & Analytics Certified Individual


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PPC B2B Lead Generation: Best Practices and Case Studies in 2024 Contents1 Platforms for PPC B2B Lead Generation2 How to Allocate the Budget Between Platforms?3 Creating & Managing an Effective PPC campaign for B2B4 What Campaign Assets Maximize Results in PPC for B2B?5 PPC Remarketing Best Practices for B2B6 Conclusion Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is widely used for customer acquisition in both B2C and B2B economy sectors....
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